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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Alexander Tribute to Barbara Bush  CSPAN  April 21, 2018 10:54am-11:03am EDT

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george w. bush, the only woman in america apart from abigail adams, the wife and mother of a president. her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom she loves and the entire prayers go to the entire bush family. we want them to know that so many share in their grief, pray for them at this sad time, and are grateful for sharing barbara bush with the nation. yesterday our country lost a bright and caring independent lady. my wife and i lost a good friend. barbara bush set a wonderful example as a mother, wife, first lady come advocate for adult literacy, we expressed to the bush family our sympathy and great respect for the life of barbara bush. meacham wrote the biography
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of torch age of the bush -- george h.w. bush, he had access of president bush and barbara bush that was almost unparalleled with other biographers. some of the plane and unvarnished biographies that told us a lot about those individuals. name for theetter "the last gentleman." if i made a really accurate suggestion about the title of the book, i would call it "the last film in and his lady -- gentle man and his very independent lady." she was very independent.
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in 1991, a sunny day and we were walking on the south lawn of the white house. i was the education secretary and walking with president and mrs. bush to the announcement of his g.i. bill for kids, his school choice program for low income children. bush walked along, barbara turned to president bush and said, george, you have on the wrong pants. he had his suit coat on from one suit and pets from another suit another suit, she told him to go in and change clothes and lamarr and i will wait. which we and he did here on another occasion, president bush invited my wife and me to join barbara and the president at ford's theater. presidents travel with great security in a big car. as protocol goes, he got out first. as she was about to get out, she
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said, i will get the door, george. another occasion, i was sitting next to barbara and george bush, the president was called on to make some remarks. he leaned over to his wife and said, what should i talk about? loudly, five minutes, george. barbara bush was quite a woman who said what she thought. son decided to run for president, she was reported to have said, i think we have had enough bushes. when i read for president against her other son, i made what i thought were some mild comments disagreeing with him about something. i heard from barbara bush about what i had said about her son
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george w. bush. not many of us think how difficult it must be to be the spouse of a president of the united states. think how harder it was to also be the mother of a president of the united states, and the mother of another distinguished son who is governor of a large state and who ran for president of the united states. barbara bush was the anchor of her family and a successful and remarkable family it was. i was education secretary for president bush in 1991 when the national literacy act was enacted. let's use barbara's own words. she wrote, i must say that i got more credit than i deserve. i do not agree with that but she continued, i hoard -- i heard george would give it to me but before he could, senator simon spoke up and said that pin should go to barbara. i donated it to the george bush presidential library center.
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in the end, barbara bush wrote, it is not pictures that counts, it is the national literacy act. it was the first piece of legislation and the only one to date ever enacted specifically for literacy with the goal of ensuring that every american adult acquires the basic literacy skills necessary to achieve the greatest possible satisfaction professionally and personally. , even more than that, it seeks to strengthen our nation by giving us more productive workers and informed citizens. biography, president george h.w. bush, john meacham wrote of a generational controversy in his words. that barbara bush and doors in may of 1990. she was invited to her all toern -- she was invited
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wesley college. to speak at graduation and receive an honorary degree. criticized by west -- wellesley's young women. because, as president bush put in his own diary, these are his words, because she has not made it on her own. because she is where she is because she is her husband's wife. what is wrong with the fact she is a good mother, president bush wrote in his diary? a good wife, great volunteer, great leader for literacy and other time causes, to listen to these elitist kids, mrs. bush invited mrs. gorbachev who was visiting the white house to go with her. she confronted the issues of work and family. delivering a well received commencement address.
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she put the audience at ease by saying early on, one day, i am sure someone in this audience will grow up to become a spouse of the president of the united states. and i wish him well, she said. said, maybe we should adjust faster. maybe we should adjust slower. that is what she told the graduates. whatever the time, one thing will never change, fathers and mothers. mustey have children, they come first and you must read to your children and hug your children and must love your children, your success is a family, our success as a society depends not on what happens in the white house, but what happens in your house. barbara bush told wellesley graduates in 1990. the country is expressing to the
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bush family, as i am trying to today, our great respect for barbara bush's life. president bush, george h.w. bush , has sent a response to those of us who sent our condolences. i would like to close with the presidents own words about his wife, barbara. this is what george h.w. bush said, i always knew barbara was the most beloved woman in the world and i used to tease her that i had a complex about that fact. the truth is, the outpouring of love and friendship being directed at the enforcer, president bush's words, is lifting us all up. knows in heaven and we life will go on.


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